“Life is what happens in between Wifi signals.” – Unknown
Last weekend, I participated in a screen detox. For 2 days, I didn’t engage with any screens by myself. No phone, no social media, no television, no kindle. This was particularly difficult for me, and I experienced many profoundly positive effects when I eliminated these devices from my life over a 48 hour period. Here are a few:
- Reconnect with the people around me: I was far more present with my family without the distractions of social media and email. I played in the sandbox with my younger nieces, blew bubbles, and jumped on the trampoline. The joy I felt while fully immersed in the moment with these two little girls far surpassed any joy I have ever felt when scrolling through Instagram or mindlessly checking my email for the 47th time in one day.
- Improved Self-Awareness: When I became bored or uncomfortable with a situation, I noticed myself reaching for my pocket, grabbing for the empty space where my phone once was. By not having access to my phone or the television to numb the uncomfortable feelings, I was forced to investigate, accept and compassionately move through the intricacies of the difficult emotions that surfaced.
- Reconnect with the world around me: This was my favorite download of the entire experience. One of the screen-less activities that brought me a lot of joy was going outside to take long walks. Without the luxury of listening to a podcast or music, I walked in silence. And without any distractions, I suddenly noticed the magnificence all around me. The sound of birds chirping mixed with the beauty of the outdoors propelled me into the present moment and enabled me to appreciate nature’s remarkable gifts. You’d be amazed at what a beautiful place this is when you look up from your phone, take out your headphones and experience the sights and sounds around you!
Sometimes by slowing down, we go further. In addition to the benefits outlined above, a digital detox might also decrease anxiety, improve sleep, decrease depressive symptoms, improve creativity and attention span, and increase your overall enjoyment of life! If this is something that sparks your interest, I highly encourage you to read Digital Minimalism, by Cal Newport. This books helps one to lead a focused life within this noisy world.
Human beings are not wired to be constantly wired. So each day, take 15 minutes and go outside without your phone or any wearable tech, unplug, walk around, and soak up the natural healing powers that this world has to offer!
Enjoy what comes of today!